As you plan your move to Guam, it’s easy to imagine enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and mild climate. From scuba diving at the beach to shopping at a vibrant retail center, Guam lives up to its reputation as a tropical paradise with a modern vibe. The rich Chamorro culture that lives on in traditional food, festivals and art also sends a welcoming message to newcomers.
But what about living on Guam? Finding a new place to call home in a distant locale can be daunting, especially if you’re thinking about purchasing vs. renting a home. Realty listings can be confusing if you don’t know much about the area.
Thankfully, Guam is one of the five unincorporated territories of the U.S., which means the process for finding and purchasing a home are virtually the same as on the mainland:
- You can take and hold title to property in the same way.
- Major real estate corporations from the States have offices on Guam, along with local realty companies.
- Most Guam real estate professionals are experienced in working with PCS military as well as civilians.
What to expect
The styles of houses and neighborhoods on Guam may surprise you, especially if you’re a member of the military who’s been stationed in a place like Norfolk, VA. Neighborhoods are a mix of old and new homes, and sidewalks are rare. Houses and condominiums are generally smaller in Guam, and have compact rooms; open carports take the place of garages. Property is built with concrete block or reinforced concrete in order to withstand typhoon-strength winds. Luxury homes and condos in Guam are currently in high demand, as is property in well-maintained multi-family complexes and communities.
Where to live
There are 21 villages on Guam. Whether you plan to rent or buy, it’s a good idea to do some research on the different villages before narrowing down your property search.
The villages of Tumon and Tamuning, for instance, are close to beaches, hotels shopping and restaurants. If you want to be close to the action (and tourists), these areas may be right for you.
Naval Base Guam, also known as “Big Navy,” is located in the southern part of the island near the villages of Santa Rita and Agat. Set against a backdrop of mountain terrain, the area has breathtaking vistas, opportunities for outdoor recreation, and a serenely idyllic character. The distance from Big Navy to the capital, Hagatna, is approximately nine miles.
Andersen Air Force Base is located a few miles northeast of the village of Yigo, which is a good place to start looking if you’re stationed there. Further south is the village of Dededo, one of Guam’s most populous areas
Why it’s a seller’s market
A strong seller’s market in Guam real estate continued at the start of 2017, with experts predicting that property for sale will remain tight for the next couple of years. Rental listings are scarce, as well.
One of the reasons for the “hot” market is the multi-year military effort projected for 2020, the Guam Buildup. The buildup will provide facilities for the gradual transfer of approximately 5,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa, Japan to Guam.
Foreign investors, particularly from Asia, have been looking to purchase properties ahead of the military boom. A lack of new housing development, subdivisions and communities has also contributed to the housing shortage, particularly in the luxury market.
While the real estate market can be unpredictable, in the near term it looks like finding housing on Guam that meets your needs may be challenging but not unrealistic. A distance calculator can help you get oriented to the island. The key to finding the perfect home is to working with an experienced realtor who is familiar with the island is a good idea, too. Of course, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and tips from the professional movers at DeWitt Guam.
At DeWitt Guam, we maintain our own trucks and warehouses on the island, and know all the service areas. Should your move include an extended stay in temporary housing and you need to store furniture and belongings, DeWitt Guam offers dependable storage at the origin or destination of your move. You can count on us for advance planning services, expert packing, and safe delivery of your goods and vehicle(s).